Faber are thrilled to announce the paperback publication of Anna Burns’s Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Milkman. Louisa Joyner acquired World English rights from David Grossman. Greywolf are to publish the US edition in 2019.
Anna Burns’s Milkman takes place in an unnamed city and is told from the perspective of a teenage girl who is being stalked by a middle-aged paramilitary called Milkman. A darkly funny novel about the damage hearsay can wreak on people’s lives and how a single piece of gossip can tear a community apart, it conjures the dense atmosphere of suspicion, self-censorship, sexual policing, danger and betrayal of life in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
The hardback was published by Faber in May 2018 to great acclaim, garnering comparisons to Edna O’Brien, Eimear McBride and Samuel Beckett. Lisa McInerney praised it as ‘extraordinary’, saying, ‘I’ve been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It’s frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time.’ The Daily Telegraph gave it five stars, calling it a ‘darkly funny novel about Seventies Belfast that leaves words ominously unspoken.’ Writing in the Irish Times, Eoin McNamee said: ‘when you’re talking about writing from Belfast, she is the radar, the finder of strange objects at a distance, the uncoverer of what moves unseen in the dark.’ Catherine Taylor described it in the New Statesman as ‘a work of timely universality . . . a darkly mirthful satire with a twist of Beckettian melancholy and an anarchic touch of Swift . . . Burns builds an intense picture of a society under siege, in a state of fugue, subject to surreptitious forces of oppression.’
Anna Burns says: ‘I was incredibly excited to be shortlisted – I jumped up and down. What a wonderful feeling!’
Louisa Joyner says: ‘Milkman, like its author, couldn’t be more deserving of the critical acclaim it has received and the huge honour that is a Man Booker shortlisting. Technically brilliant and emotionally painstaking in its precision, it is also of profound political importance. In a world where the question of an Irish border may define our relationships to the rest of the world, it should be required reading – not least for the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet.’
Anna Burns was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the author of two novels, No Bones and Little Constructions, and of the novella, Mostly Hero. No Bones won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She lives in East Sussex.